Kyra Haas


This semester, I’m reporting from Jefferson City, covering the Missouri General Assembly for the Columbia Missourian and for Missourinet. Last semester, I was at PolitiFact in Washington, D.C., as a Reynolds Journalism Institute student innovation fellow. I fact-checked political candidates leading up to the midterm elections in November and debunked false news stories on Facebook.

During summer 2018, I ran around Washington Island, Wisconsin, covering everything from local politics and electrical crises to food festivals and community events for the local weekly newspaper, the Washington Island Observer. As the only full-time staffer on the six-person staff, I wrote more than 30 articles, made seven infographics and shot photos at more than 25 events during my eight-week internship.

During the spring 2018 semester, I covered state government for the Missourian. I also worked on a semester-long multimedia project about caregivers of people with autism for KBIA, the local NPR member station.

Can Missouri regulate drones? It's up in the air

Photo by Emil Lippe/Missourian

Photo by Emil Lippe/Missourian

The Federal Aviation Administration considers drones aircraft, but a prospective drone pilot doesn’t necessarily need a license to take flight. One impulsive online purchase can be all that stands between that person and the open sky.

With more hobbyists picking up drones, more public officials have concerns about how these flying quad-copters affect life on the ground.
| Columbia Missourian, Spring 2019

The facts on Ohio steel mill reopenings under Donald Trump


President Donald Trump said in his 2017 inaugural address that rusted-out factories were "scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation."

Recently, the president claimed some of Ohio’s industrial jobs had since been resurrected. He said the United States was now "taxing the hell out of the dumpers" that were "hurting your steel industry."
| PolitiFact, Fall 2018

Florida scores aren’t first: The facts about Rick Scott’s education ad

Gov. Rick Scott says in a new ad for his Senate campaign that he likes it when "Florida is first."

The only problem is that Florida isn’t first in most categories Scott talks about in the ad.
| PolitiFact, Fall 2018

Fact-checking the California governor's debate with John Cox and Gavin Newsom

Republican John Cox and Democrat Gavin Newsom met for their only debate in the California governor’s race, with the two candidates agreeing that they hold very different positions on a number of topics, including regulation and immigration.

In other cases, they agreed on the problems California faces -- a housing shortage, affordability for the middle class -- but they had very different policy ideas to address them.
| PolitiFact, Fall 2018

Island welcomes Icelandic visitors with dinner, presentation

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Driving down the roads of Washington Island, Jonas Asgrimsson said he felt at home. Icelandic flags dot the landscape, proud reminders of the Island’s connection to his country. Waves from strangers surprised him at first but soon made him feel welcome.  

Asgrimsson visited the Island with his father, Asgrimur Jonasson, and his son, Asgrimur Orn Jonasson. The three came from Iceland so Asgrimur Jonasson could gather research for a book he is writing about the electrification of Iceland. | Washington Island Observer, Summer 2018

Island resident Bill Nauta will stay in state Senate race
Following special election

Graphic by Kyra Haas

Graphic by Kyra Haas

If Republican André Jacque had won the special election for Wisconsin’s first district state Senate seat on June 12, Bill Nauta planned to drop out of the race and focus on memorizing his lines for two upcoming plays on the Island.

“I was prepared to have the shortest campaign in history,” he said.

When the results came in and Democrat Caleb Frostman won, Nauta, a Republican, decided to keep his hat in the ring, even if it conflicted with his theater practice schedule.

“We’re having rehearsals three days a week,” he said. “It's going to get up to five days a week pretty soon. And then on top of that, I have this campaign.”  | Washington Island Observer, Summer 2018

Margaret Foss retires from Washington Island School after 34 years

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Margaret Foss grew up in a family of educators — her grandmother was a teacher, her mom was a school social worker and her dad was a professor. Other relatives were teachers, too. For a while, however, Foss dreamed of becoming a ballerina.

Foss was raised in Chicago with summers spent on Washington Island. Shortly after she started school at  Indiana University-Bloomington to pursue her degree in ballet, she changed her major and career goals to special education. | Washington Island Observer, Summer 2018

Missouri House approves work requirements,
penalties for those on food stamps

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During debate on the House floor Tuesday, Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, recalled rationing Vienna sausages as a young mother to feed her child. She attributed getting out of poverty largely to hard work.

“There is power in being able to support yourself,” Rehder said. “There is power in being able to give your children something to look up to.” | Columbia Missourian, Spring 2018

Shrinking small towns struggle to
match revenue to expenses


Brenda Hartwick doesn’t expect to retire any time soon. The 72-year-old Eldon landlord rents out six properties to supplement her Social Security and support herself and her great-grandson.
| Convergence Reporting, Fall 2017

Pet turkey provides support for emotional abuse survivor


When 38-year-old Jodie Smalley traveled by plane from Seattle to Salt Lake City in January 2016, she flew with her emotional support animal, Easter, sitting on her lap.

A flight attendant snapped a picture of Easter, and the photo went viral on Reddit and other social media, leading to articles in publications around the world, from the BBC to People Magazine to Fox News.
| Introduction to News Writing, Spring 2017

Two years, No Progress


Leaky windows, cracked ceilings and roof and deck instability were just a few ongoing concerns for University Village.

The graduate student housing complex, built in 1956, wasn’t meant to last more than 25 or 30 years, Director of Residential Life Frankie Minor told The Maneater in 2009. | The Maneater, Spring 2016

Other Work

Click above to view my Maneater articles.

Click above to view my Maneater articles.

I wrote for The Maneater, the University of Missouri's independent student newspaper, from January to December 2016. As a University News beat writer, I covered research and graduate studies for the spring 2016 semester, writing 19 stories over the course of 16 weeks.

I spent summer and fall 2016 working as the Campus Life editor and later as the Campus Projects editor. During that time, I managed the Campus Life section of five to 10 beat writers, assigned weekly stories and edited these stories for grammar, structure and content. As Campus Projects editor, I oversaw the multimedia department that was responsible for long reads and interactive online coverage and managed a team of four reporters that collaborated with other student media to produce in-depth projects. 

Click above to view my Double Take column archives.

Click above to view my Double Take column archives.

In 2014, I won a citywide essay contest in Lawrence, Kansas, that earned me a weekly advice column in The Lawrence-Journal World for a year. I cowrote 52 columns about parent and teen issues, collaborating with a local psychologist. During that time, I also wrote nine blogposts at and appeared twice on KCUR's "Up to Date" with Steve Kraske to further discuss topics covered in the column.